Living in China: Chinglish to get the axe in Shanghai for World Expo

Shanghai is looking to get rid of poorly translated English signs as it readies to welcome 4 million foreign visitors to next year’s World Expo.

Pick ones steps?, by Itamar Medeiros
"Pick one's steps?", by Itamar Medeiros

Shanghai Media Group’s International Channel Shanghai (ICS) launched a campaign called “Write It Right” to help correct improperly translated English signs in the city’s public areas.

High school student volunteers would take pictures of wrongly translated English signs and billboards in the Expo Park, as well as in the city’s downtown areas, ICS told Xinhua. Experts will then discuss such mistakes and make recommendations.

Earlier this year, the municipal government released a new series of guidelines and more than 300 English translations based on international standards. In the coming months, these will replace existing public signs that are inadvertently humorous or insensitive.

The correction moves follow a similar action taken by Beijing prior to its hosting of the Olympic Games last year.

The efforts were good, especially coming from a place in China like Shanghai, which is interacting with the rest of the world, Musebu Sichula from Zambia, a 33-year-old doctorate student who studies at the University of Shanghai Finance and Economics, was quoted as saying by Friday’s China Daily.

She remembers coming across a large rock in Shanghai with a sign below it that read “Caution, overhead hazard”. She could not help but let out a laugh over what should have been translated as “Watch your head”.

via Chinglish to get the axe in Shanghai for World Expo – People’s Daily Online.

By Itamar Medeiros

Originally from Brazil, Itamar Medeiros currently lives in Germany, where he works as Director of Design Strategy at SAP and lecturer of Project Management for UX at the M.Sc. Usability Engineering at the Rhein-Waal University of Applied Sciences .

Working in the Information Technology industry since 1998, Itamar has helped truly global companies in multiple continents create great user experience through advocating Design and Innovation principles. During his 7 years in China, he promoted the User Experience Design discipline as User Experience Manager at Autodesk and Local Coordinator of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA) in Shanghai.

Itamar holds a MA in Design Practice from Northumbria University (Newcastle, UK), for which he received a Distinction Award for his thesis Creating Innovative Design Software Solutions within Collaborative/Distributed Design Environments.

One reply on “Living in China: Chinglish to get the axe in Shanghai for World Expo”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: